In the shadowy area where myth and history collide…
A thin man with a very white complexion stepped out from behind a stack of boxes. His red hair stood on end like a flame. Elliot thought the man looked very familiar.
“At last we meet in the flesh, Dr. Everett-Jones,” the flame of a man said. “Impressive how you ran that gauntlet. In just a few weeks you’ve turned into quite a soldier with a deadeye aim and nerves of steel.” The banging on the door behind him increased its tempo. The door surely couldn’t last much longer. “Yes, impressive, but the lesser-born are inferior combatants, aren’t they? The fireborn are much hardier. My friends will be here momentarily and we’ll see how you fare!”
Elliot suddenly recognized the man from his dreams. He raised his gun and shot him, knowing he wasn’t a normal ‘regular’. Elliot ran through the boxes and opened a door on the far side of the room.
“Did you think you could be rid of me that readily?” the flame asked. “You look surprised. Why do you think you can kill me so easily? I died and was raised half a millennia before your god performed the same trick. I’m not dead and I’m not alive. I can’t be killed. Oh, but I can kill you! Perhaps I’ll play with you a little first.”
The door finally gave way.
“Play with this.” Elliot said as he shot the man once again.
He ran down the hall. Opening a door at random he entered an area that looked like an assembly line, with racks and roller tracks. The racks were full of various parts, some looking exactly like gun barrels. He closed the door and pushed a heavy box of gun barrels in front of it. He grabbed the shipping papers off of a clip board that was on top of the box and shoved it in his pouch. Turning found himself face to face with the flame.
“Oh, you are so much fun!” the man said. “I think I’ll let you escape again, just for the entertainment value, and watch as they reel you in again. I’ll lead you, mislead you, slice you and entice you. I am the Firstborn! I am the most powerful! I am the favorite! I was around before Alexander! I was around before Caesar! I’m still around long after they’ve returned to dust! I’ll still be around long after you’re but dust!”
In my book The Fireborn, The Cauldron King was the main villain. He controlled legions of the undead Fireborn and large numbers of living troops, the ‘regulars’. But like a lot of commanders, he led from off screen. He had surrogates do most of his dirty work. And few were dirtier than The Firstborn.
The Firstborn was an adviser to the king before the Cauldron came into being. He was a high priest and a magician. These roles were continued after he was sacrificed to the cauldron.
The Firstborn was clever and crafty. He was a trickster. While most of those who were born of the fire of the cauldron lost all sense of self, all humanity, the Firstborn was self-aware.
The price he paid for this self-awareness was that he had to use a living body. This body could be wounded, stopped, poisoned. The body could be killed. As soon as his present body was killed, though, he was released to find a new body, typically one of the Cauldron King’s living minions. Once he took a body it quickly took his shape and bore his features. Death of a body only slowed him down, never stopped him.
The Firstborn also had the ability to haunt Elliot’s dreams. Half of their battles were battles of the mind that occurred when Elliot was asleep. He wasn’t a great soldier in the flesh, but his talents were elsewhere, and none were better at manipulating the environment or people’s emotions.
The Firstborn was Elliot’s greatest challenge for most of the book. Well, except for when he had to confront his ex-wife, Eleanor. The challenge of Eleanor was very different, and will be saved for another time.
Do you want to know more about some of the characters in the fireborn? I have previously written about Elliot, the Fireborn, the Sword and the nature of magic in this universe.
- On the Nature of Magic
- Fireborn Pro Video
- Introducing Elliot
- About the Cauldron
- The Fireborn (Character)
- The Sword
- Guest Post – Where Myth and History Collide
Still Interested, you can buy the book on Amazon: